Street style is officially out of control. What used to be just Bill Cunningham roaming around the streets of New York with a camera, and morphed into the more stylized portraits of the Sartorialist now means that every city has like twenty amateur style bloggers leaping out of alleys to take pictures of homeless peoples' outfits, while, according to a piece in today's Guardian, fashionistas are now really offended if some hack with a camera doesn't want to commemorate their style. What's more, there are so many hundreds of style blogs around — from Advanced Style (for geriatrics) to Teen Fashion (for teens) that now there's a new generation of blogs that exist purely as digests for all the other street style blogs. The tyranny of street style must be stopped!"'When you don't have your photo taken, you have to be very grown-up about it,' says Victoria Young, fashion director of Pop magazine. 'If you don't have your picture taken, and other people around you do, it feels very much like they're cool and you're not.'" Okay, maybe, but if that's your goal, it's not like it's that hard to figure out what these blogs are looking for. As a rule the criteria are as follows: -High Fashiony - a la The Sartorialist -Ludicrous and Nylon-esque- a la Street Peeper -Japanese - a la Style Arena. -Old - a la Advanced Style -Possibly mentally ill/homeless - a la any of them. While the concept of the street style blog is unassailably awesome and a theoretical challenge to the prevailing dogma of the fashion mags, the truth is the standards really aren't that different — everyone's still young, thin and cool; and if they aren't there's something faintly behind-glassy and exploitative about them. Really, it's a sort of pernicious, inexorable high-fashioning of everyday life, and it's hard not to be ambivalent, however much we like the pictures. The more of these laconic Scandinavian 20-somethings and aging Italian fashionistos you look at, the more similar they all start to look. Ironically, the quest for the unique is only serving to reinforce the norm. And forget about the notion of self-expression; now the world's a runway and these folks are dressing for its collective eyes. Never mind that this trend is probably fast-tracking the death of any sartorial subcultures or actual attempts at rebellion — the cost of the internet age — it's ironically undermining the true point of eccentric fashion - in defiance of expectation. I have been asked for my picture exactly once. The 'photographer' was maybe 15. I had gum in my hair and was wearing my glasses chain, which, according to the prevailing rules of the road (in which, as if it needs saying, privacy has no part) meant I was high-fashion. I was, I must admit, thrilled. But after she'd snapped the picture, there was a silence. "Um, maybe it's the lighting," she said politely. I peered at the wizened gnome on her camera's screen. Let's just say: There's a reason these blogs are filled with professional moddles. Crowd Pleasers [The Guardian]
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